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Special Events

A Change of Season

IT'S A LONG-STANDING joke that most of California doesn't experience any true seasons. But for those of us who live and work here, subtle seasonal shifts in the air, light and color of the sun affect our moods as much as any fall foliage, winter snowstorm or spring garden does for people elsewhere.

In Santa Barbara, Calif., where I work, I can feel the change from summer to fall as I write this. The light is softer and the air is crisper, bringing a lightness to my step and new beginnings to my mind.

A shift in season is always a time to take a new look at the world and ourselves. We change our appearance by donning corduroy and sweaters. We change the look of our world by setting tables with an abundance of warm colors, flavors and traditional dishes of the season. And as we get closer to the New Year, we will look within and change whatever it is inside us that needs changing. But while this is the last holiday season of the century, the changes of the seasons will never leave us.

Every day, I grow more convinced that Mother Nature knew just what she was doing when she created seasons, making them symbols of change. Just when we begin to tire of warm days and sand in the car, it starts to cool down. Just when we feel that the raking of leaves will never end, the trees at last are bare and the season changes to winter.

I have always considered Decem-ber the most beautiful month of the year in Southern California. The fall winds push away the summer haze and clear the horizon. And then, just as we begin to complain about the cool glare of winter sunlight, the spring rains set in and it all begins again. Oh, sweet change!

But change isn't all external. Don't you feel changes in your business as well? In my office, the pace of July and August slows down considerably, but it's always just what we need to balance out an extremely busy spring season. After a few short weeks without the phone ringing off the hook and with the chance to feel the grass between our toes again, we feel our strength return, along with the colors of the fall. Then we are out of the gate once again, full of new ideas and the spirit that got us into this crazy world of special events in the first place. And so the seasons change.

And although the seasons are reliable, nothing in this business is as it was the day before. One element that has always kept me in special events is the certainty that tomorrow won't yield the same experiences as yesterday or today. Like a natural cycle, the nature of this industry is based on change, and the first hint of any new season continues to renew my faith in the magic that is possible.

Whether it's spring, summer, fall or winter-or a wedding, an awards dinner, a festival or a holiday event-natural seasons and the seasons of business make us part of a larger cycle. If we trust both equally, we can enjoy the slow times of summer as much as we love the fast pace of winter and spring.

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